Alone this Holiday Week? The Tin Man Always Had a Heart

I lived alone through 10 long Minnesota winters. They were my boot camp for 2020 quarantine. I am not alone in my aloneness this holiday season – 28% of Americans live alone.

Through 2020, we’ve seen countless articles about loneliness. Loneliness has impacted nearly everyone in some way – singles, couples, families – from children through the elderly. The silver lining of COVID is that it’s OK to talk about it. People need people.

Proposed Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said in an interview, “Loneliness was the most common condition I encountered as a doctor.” He was referring to pre-Covid times.

“Dear Abby” and Dr. Murthy offer the same valuable advice for those feeling lonely. Help someone else. You ask, “What can I do stuck alone inside this wintry week?”

Think of the loneliest person you know and reach out to them. Ask how they are – really listen – make the conversation about treasuring them and how much they mean to you.

Savor those moments of connecting. Whether or not you feel loved and connected this holiday week, the Tin Man always had a heart – and so do you.

Wishing you a more connected 2021.

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Lisa Cook
Lisa Cookhttp://www.planbconnections.com/index.html
Lisa Cook is a connector at heart. Living in seven states, she has built new personal and professional networks throughout her career. In 2007, she moved to Minnesota, a uniquely challenging place to make friends. Long winter months alone hibernating inside like a bear made it a very solitary time. Her deep dive into books to alleviate loneliness revealed a growing nationwide problem with no easy answers. Fast forward to 2020 and pandemic quarantines – increasing loneliness and a social recession are all over the news. There are still no easy answers. In 2010, Lisa launched Plan B Connections to link individuals - especially those living alone – through meaningful conversations and volunteerism. Her TEDx talk, “Living Alone, Living Connected,” highlights her efforts to build community in Minnesota. Additionally, her venture was featured in the book How We Live Now by Dr. Bella DePaulo. Lisa has a law degree and a master’s degree in education. A “Jill of many trades,” she has practiced law with the Federal government, launched an innovative online career center serving 50,000 students worldwide, delivered stress management training to government employees impacted by 9/11, and earned a Courage Coin working for the Red Cross on long-term hurricane recovery efforts. Nicknamed “Mother Terlisa” by a friend, Lisa continuously seeks to connect people in meaningful ways. She currently hosts virtual Plan B Connections conversations for individuals coast to coast via Zoom. Her vision is for individuals living alone to feel supported by a community of friends for a friendly ear and a helping hand.